Looking back, I'm not sure the exact moment we realized that our magical characters, The Birthday Triplets, have the potential to become powerful advocates for ballet.
With the scuttling of the arts in many of our schools, fewer and fewer children will be familiar with music, dance, and the skills that they teach us: music appreciation, grace, social skills, poise, discipline, a strong work ethic, as well as physical and cognitive development.
DIRTY DANCING OR BALLET?
Riding the bus one day, Kelly sat next to a tween glued to her phone. Kelly glanced over to see what she was watching. She wished she hadn't. What Kelly saw was a homemade video of a young girl dancing something akin to pole dancing-without the pole. She doubted this girl had ever been exposed to any music or dance aside from popular culture.
What could we do about this? Plenty! As I began to develop The Birthday Triplets- Candi, Cookie, and Coco, I thought back to how my love of dance began.
SECRETLY, MY HEART BELONGED TO BALANCHINE
Ok, I admit it. Being a kind of Balanchine groupie, I was jealous of Gelsey. If only Mum had steered me towards ballet rather than piano, I could have been Gelsey-well... in my dreams. My love of ballet began the moment I watched my middle school friend, Jill, dance on pointe to Waltz of the Flowers.
"Socrates learned to dance when he was 70 because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected." Unknown
Fortunately, I didn't wait that long. Yet, it wasn't until my twenties, studying with Marguerite Duncan in Cleveland, Ohio, that I became a dancer at last. Talk about a late bloomer. However, if life had chosen that path for me any earlier, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to create a multi-million dollar girls card line for American Greetings. This success provided me the confidence to create characters on my own.
POSTER KIDS FOR BALLET
What better way to install a love of classical music and ballet then by creating triplet dancers for the mass-market? Not only would Candi, Cookie and Coco Birthday be magical, but accompanied by the most beautiful classical music in the world! I envisioned their animation as a ballet hybrid with much of the narrative told through dance and pantomime.
But first things first.
Meet Coco Birthday, the most passionate about her dancing
ADDING A LITTLE KINDNESS WOULDN'T HURT
Kelly's background as a teacher, and passion for inspiring children to be imaginative and kind, gave the triplets the depth they needed. Their humorous stories promote kindness, courage, being our best, and most importantly, empathy. By touching hands and dancing, The Birthday Triplets bring a surprise party to someone who is sad or alone on their birthday.
THEIR STORY BEGINS
In the first book of the series, Candi, Cookie and Coco meet magical inventor, Granny Rosie, who is all alone on her birthday.
When Granny Rosie tries to create a Birthday Adventure for herself, everything goes comically wrong...
until Candi, Cookie, and Coco Birthday dance into her life and change it forever.
Granny Rosie loves the triplets so much that she asks them to come live with her in a place quite unlike no other.
In each subsequent story, the sisters will dance into one of Granny's magic adventures to promote kindness to children across the world.
I believe we can change the culture, one child at a time. As young girls fall in love with Candi, Cookie, and Coco Birthday, our dream is that they fall in love with ballet too.
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